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Prepared by Diana Dundua
Thursday, December 27

“Nino Burjanadze named best Georgian politician in 2007”

Akhali Taoba reports that acting president Nino Burjanadze was honored as Georgian politician of the year in an award ceremony on December 25.

Organized by the consulting group GCG, the “Golden Parchment” award was presented to 13 top Georgian figures at a ceremony at the Courtyard Marriott.

The award itself was made by the National Mint.

Minister of Refugees and Resettlement Koba Subeliani was named the friendliest official, and Ia Antadze was hailed as journalist of the year.

The awards were given out based on the opinion of 3000 judges.

“We will prove to the whole world that the political process in Georgia is continuing normally. Stability will be maintained, and decent presidential elections will be held on January 5,” Burjanadze said in her acceptance speech. “I hope that, in the future, the people will not regret electing me as politician of the year.”

“Georgian presidential election will be democratically held in South Ossetia”

Dmitry Sanakoyev, the Tbilisi-backed head of the alternative South Ossetian administration, promises the region is entirely ready to hold the January 5 presidential election, Rezonansi writes.

“The Georgian presidential election will be maximally democratically and transparently held in the South Ossetian region,” Sanakoyev declared at a regional government session on December 25.

He also spoke about the key priorities for his administration next year, putting energy and water supply issues and road construction at the top of the list.

“Gipsy Kings to come to Georgia for New Year”

Akhali Taoba reports that well-known band the Gipsy Kings will come to Georgia and welcome in the New Year with a concert.

Tbilisi deputy Mayor Giorgi Meladze and deputy Minister of Culture, Sport and Monument Protection Papuna Davitaia confirmed that the band is due to arrive on December 30, holding a concert in Freedom Square the next day.

Tbilisi has been hosting New Year’s events which will last until January 7.

“Youths held a protest”

Youth members of the nine-party opposition coalition protested in front of the National Bank of Georgia on December 25, Sakartvelos Respublika writes, holding signs urging officials to “stop embezzling!”

Demonstrators claim the Bank has violated the law by financing the election campaign of incumbent presidential candidate Mikheil Saakashvili.

“Several days ago, they sponsored a concert by famous American singer Shakira; the state budget spent USD 7 million on this,” the activists claimed.

Sakartvelos Respublika neglected to clarify that Shakira, who is Colombian, was brought to Tbilisi by a development company building a new hotel in the capital.

“Konstantin Kublashvili: Corruption does not exist in the Georgian court system any more!”

Rezonansi reports that Supreme Court chair Konstantin Kublashvili invited journalists to a New Year’s reception on December 25.

He made a speech detailing the successes made in judicial reform over the past year.

According to the newspaper, Kublashvili says corruption has been weeded out of the court system.

“Judges worked out certain recommendations, and the court processes are completely transparent and fair. The new reforms sped up the consideration of cases, and now we can say we have a quick justice system,” Kublashvili said.

He underlined that statistics show the court system is developing well.